#WorldDiabetesDay: Is your itchy skin a sign of diabetes?

A person with diabetes should not ignore itchy skin.

Causes of diabetes itching

  • Itching can result from damaged nerve fibres located in the outer layers of skin.
  • The cause of diabetes-related itching is often diabetic polyneuropathy or peripheral neuropathy. This occurs when high blood glucose levels damage nerve fibres, particularly those in the feet and hands.
  • Before the nerve damage occurs, the body experiences high levels of cytokines.
  • Persistent itchiness may be a precursor to nerve damage in someone with diabetes. Itchiness should never be ignored.
  • People with diabetes can experience associated disorders that include kidney or liver failure. These conditions may also cause itching.
  • New medication may cause the skin to itch in persons with diabetes. This should be discussed with your doctor.
  • Other reasons for itching may be underlying skin conditions like athlete’s foot, eczema,  hidradenitis suppurative, psoriasis and sunburn.

Symptoms vary and depend on the cause

  • If a person has peripheral neuropathy, they are more likely to experience itching on the lower parts of the legs.
  • Peripheral neuropathy can also cause a loss of sensation, usually the feet or hands. This could be accompanied by a tingling sensation.
  • Itching often occurs at night.

How to relieve diabetes itching

  • Manage diabetes carefully and prevent blood sugar levels from becoming too high.
  • Avoid taking very hot baths. Hot water can strip the skin of its natural moisture.
  • Apply skin lotion immediately after bathing or showering. A person with diabetes should not apply lotion between the toes, as this can attract harmful fungi.
  • Use lotions that are hypoallergenic. There are also diabetes-specific lotions available.
  • Stick to a healthy diet and manage blood sugar levels throughout the day.


Caxton Central

Latest News


Next Story x
Mining industry wishes for a safer 2018

Thanx for your referral. We have no doubt your friends will love our newsletter as much as you!

Don't forget to verify your email.

to our FREE newsletter
SUBSCRIBE to our FREE newsletter.

SELECT your titles:

Estcourt News
Ladysmith Gazette
Newcastle Advertiser
Northern Natal Courier
Vryheid Herald

Your details:

Your friends: